Good Hygiene Key To Preventing Staph - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/16/07

Good Hygiene Key To Preventing Staph

You've heard people say they're afraid to go to the hospital because they might catch something. The scientific concern they're referring to is antibiotic-resistant staph infections, called MRSA or "mersa" for short.

It's been dubbed a superbug for its ability to spread quickly and be difficult to treat. But now, it seems you don't have to go into a hospital to face that risk. Researchers say MRSA is making its way out of the hospital and into the public at a much faster rate than expected.

"Resistant staph is in our community, people are acquiring from other people in the community without having any association with the hospital," said Lara Danziger-Isakov, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist.

That's according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control, which says MRSA is to blame for more than 94,000 life-threatening infections and was associated with 19,000 deaths in 2005 alone.

Public health officials say that since you might even carry that bacteria under your fingernails, the best prevention is incredibly simple -- good hygiene. The CDC says regular hand washing is still the key to preventing the bacteria from spreading and triggering deadly infections.

The research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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